Those guests staying in Haad Salad might seek a pause from relaxing on the beach or in a hammock and seek distraction with a bit of exploration. One possibility is to visit the beach just south of Haad Salad called Haad Gruad. It is one of the lesser visited beaches in Koh Phangan and totally free of development except for one resort and a couple of restaurants nearby.
You get to Haad Gruad by getting to the main road and turning south. A short distance is the entrance road to Haad Gruad Resort. You walk through the resort to access the beach. Haad Gruad beach is about 70 meters long. It has soft white sand mixed with dead corals and is fringed with coconut palms. The sea is strewn with large boulders which you can clearly see as you come down the hill to the beach. It is a good beach for snorkelling and splashing around in the shallows.
At the south end of the beach there is a rickety wooden walk way that takes you to some large rocks on the headland. From here you can admire the sea views. You can also attempt to fish. It is possible to catch small fish and squid. The path leads to another small and beautiful beach called Haad Thian West.
The beach at Haad Gruad has a path leading up to the main road. Next to this path, and slightly elevated, is a medium-sized swimming pool. Above this is the resort restaurant. While the food is nothing to write home about, it is a great location for lunch.
There is a small bar on the beach called Sunny Bar. It is one of the old-skool bars with accretions of odd decoration and a couple of low tables and chairs.
Most of the reviews of Haad Gruad focus primarily on the resort. While most find it a little slice of paradise, a few find it too isolated and bad value for money. Haad Salad feels like a quiet beach with little going on but has enough food and drink options to please the overwhelming majority of guests. This becomes apparent from a trip to neighbouring Haad Gruad. However, this is the unique selling point for Haad Gruad – it is virtually a private beach for those staying at the resort and for those few tourists that make it down the hill.